IEC program 2019 application season open now

The International Experience Canada 2019 application cycle is now open to many countries and new organizations have been added to the list of recognized service providers supporting Canadian youth and youth overseas with mobility opportunities. 

International Experience Canada (IEC) offers foreign nationals between the ages of 18 and 35 from 34 different countries the opportunity to work in Canada through a bilateral Youth Mobility Arrangement. 

Through the IEC, eligible candidates may come to Canada through a Working Holiday, Young Professionals or International Co-op Internship work permit. The IEC program issues Invitations to Apply for one of the three work permit categories using an Expression of Interest model, which begins with interested individuals completing a profile and entering the pool of candidates for the permit category.

The type of pool that a candidate is entered into depends largely on the country of citizenship and the work permit categories available for that specific country. For example, Australian citizens may apply for the IEC under either the Working Holiday, Young Professionals or international Co-op Internship pool while a citizen of Japan can only apply to the IEC program through the Working Holiday pool. 

The Government of Canada also announced December 4 that the IEC program has added 10 new organizations to its list of recognized service providers and updated the way recognized organizations offer support to Canadian and foreign participants. 

IEC recognized organizations:

  • provide support services to Canadian and foreign youth for IEC work and travel experiences, including the following: assisting with finding employment, arranging transportation, securing accommodations, and helping with other logistical support;
  • promote IEC to Canadian youth; and
  • support greater Canadian youth participation abroad.

International Experience Canada work permit categories

Working Holiday work permits are open work permits, valid for one to 24 months (depending on the country of citizenship). With the open work permit, individuals can work anywhere in Canada for most Canadian employers.

Young Professionals work permits are employer-specific work permits, which means participants can gain valuable international experience by working for a Canadian company. A signed job offer letter or contract of employment with a Canadian employer related to the applicant’s professional development is required before applying. The job offered must be classified as Skill Type Level 0, A, or B under Canada's National Occupational Classification (NOC). 

The International Co-op category offers participants an employer-specific work permit. Eligible foreign citizens must be enrolled at a post-secondary institution in their country and have a job offer for a work placement or internship with a Canadian company. Participants must arrange co-op placements with Canadian employers before applying. Applicants must be registered students for the duration of the internship and must prove that they need this work placement or internship to complete their post-secondary studies. 

See a complete list of countries with bilateral Youth Mobility Arrangement with Canada

Individuals who have lived and worked in Canada through the IEC program, intend to do so in the future, or are doing so now may fill out a free assessment form to evaluate their eligibility for permanent residence across various Canadian immigration programs.